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Ryo Kagawa - Kyokun


Image of Ryo Kagawa - Kyokun

Kagawa made his official record debut from the URC label in 1971 with the release of the album Kyokun, which includes the famous title track and “Zeni No Koyoryoku Ni Tsuite, (The Power of Money)” with words inspired by Bertolt Brecht, set to a Crazy Horse-esque stomper of a backing track provided by members of Happy End.

While a student in Shiga Prefecture, Kagawa made a decent living as the vocalist in a British Invasion-inspired Group Sounds cover band. Making his way to the Kansai region, he found employment at Art Music Publishing, which was the primary publisher for all the songwriters on URC’s roster. At the time uninterested in folk music, Kagawa nevertheless was drawn to the power of the acoustic guitar and voice and began to write songs of his own. He premiered his life-affirming anti-war ballad “Kyokun 1” in 1970 as an unofficial performer at the Nakatsugawa Folk Jamboree, one of the premier underground folk and rock festivals at the time.